Monday, 12 August 2013

Lime and Rosewater Drizzle Cake

One of the things I miss most about England and working in an office is that ritual in the afternoon, around 3 o'clock, when my colleagues and I make ourselves a cup of tea or coffee.  And with our hot drinks we usually have something sweet, be it scones, rocky road, biscuits and on Fridays, we often have a slice of cake or two.

This past week, I really fancy a cake to go with my afternoon tea.  In this currently very hot weather, chocolate cake I think would just be too rich (you read that right and obviously I didn't mean it).  I wanted something fresh, so I decided to bake a lemon and rosewater drizzle cake.

I went to the market and I was shocked that I couldn't find any lemons... not a single one.  I went to another market and same thing happened.  I was disgusted (totally a first world problem).  But this didn't stop me from baking... I just have to improvise and use the next closest citrus... lime.

And it worked brilliantly! The cake is just what I wanted... light and fresh.  And the sharpness from the lime syrup with the perfume-y rosewater is beautiful.  I happen to absolutely love rosewater... The recipe below states two teaspoons of rosewater and I may have actually used a bit more, but start with one teaspoon because rosewater is a strong ingredient.  A little bit goes a long way.  A touch in the background is nice, but too much feels like eating a bowl of potpourri.  Anyone else a fan of rosewater?

In case if you're wondering, I did not take any of these pictures.  My friend Vincent who has been helping me with the video blog, is a keen photographer and asked if he could take some photos for the blog... an offer obviously I simply can not refuse.  But please don't get too used to this fancy treatments.... very soon, sometime this week in fact, Vincent is leaving for university :( So, I want to wish him the best of luck and thanking him for all the help these past weeks.

Lime and Rosewater Drizzle Cake
Recipe by Me

200 gr soft, unsalted butter
200 gr caster sugar
zest of 3 limes (save the juice for the syrup)
3 large eggs
125 gr plain flour
25 gr corn flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla paste, or the seeds from 1 vanilla pod

For the lime and rosewater syrup
Juice of 3 limes
100 grams icing sugar
2 teaspoons rosewater

Preheat your oven to 180 C and line the base of your 20 cm cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease its sides lightly with butter.  In a bowl, add the butter, sugar and the lime zest. 

Cream the butter, sugar and zest.  But don't just mix it; really whip it until the butter is pale and fluffy.  This will result in a really soft and light crumbs.

I use a free standing mixer which makes it so effortless.  But a hand mixer or even by hand with a wooden spoon is possible.  You just need a little (a lot of) elbow grease. 

In a bowl measure out the flours, baking powder and a pinch of salt.  Then what I like to do is to add in the egg one at a time to the butter mixture, alternating with the dry ingredients.

Though in this occasion I accidentally cracked two eggs, followed by two thirds of the dry ingredients... mixing well... and then the last egg and the rest of the dry ingredients.  Then mix in the vanilla paste.

Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for about 35 minutes.

In the meantime, in a saucepan, make the syrup by boiling the lime juice and icing sugar.  When the icing sugar is dissolved, take the syrup off the heat and let it cool a little bit.  Then add the rosewater and give it a stir. 

You'll notice the cake is done when the edges of the cake have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin.  Remove it from the oven to a cooling rack, but keep it in its tin.  Prick the top of the cake with cake tester or I actually used a thin spaghetti for minimal damage.... using a regular wooden skewer will cause too big holes.  Remove the cake from the tin and pour the warm lime and rosewater syrup all over the cake. 

Make yourself a cup of tea and you know what to do...


  1. Delicious Michael and excellent improvisation!

  2. How to make ice cream - Yuuummmm....ya, here is the recipe foe delicious dessert. This is really very simple, even kid can try this..!!   Ingredients • Vanilla or any other Flavoured essence 1.5 tea spoon • Cornflou...

  3. Hehe I wish I worked in your office! Actually birthday cakes and shared afternoon tea breaks are the only thing that I miss about working in an office! And how strange about the lack of lemons! Lime sounds like a great substitute :)

  4. lime and rosewater!... WHAT a combination!... how amazing, it must taste so fresh and zingy!... beautiful shots but i'm sure with the right camera you could do this! x

  5. I couldn't find lemons once at the store too... it was a very odd thing :) At least everything worked out... the cake looks stunning and I bet it tasted amazing!

  6. The cake looks amazing, Michael. Vincent took great photos...I love particularly the one with butter and lime..colour contrast is amazing.

  7. Amazing, moist, and superb cake, Michael! I agree with you on the free-stand mixer. I try to use my daughter's Kitchen-Aid as often as I can for my cakes...otherwise, your arm does get tired mixing by hand for so long. Lime and rosewater drizzle; yumm; can't get any better! xo

  8. Oh Michael, this cake sounds and looks delicious, the texture of this cake is perfect...the touch of rose water sounds heaven. Yes, tea would be great with a slice or two...
    Hope you are having a fun week :D

  9. Hi Micheal,

    Forget about the lemon! Lime and rosewater sounds good too! Your cake looks very pretty with this beautiful combination.


  10. Just mouthwatering…looks delicious!

  11. this cake looks great and i miss tea breaks in the UK too

  12. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous michael! I love the freshness of lime with sweet rosewater here- I reckon this probably works better than lemon. I don't know if it's just me, growing up in asia and all, but always been partial to that particular zingy zesty smell of lime vs lemon. This sounds wonderful- you gotta start selling your cakes michael!